Hello: Sammy Faustin Comment Count

Ace August 2nd, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Michigan continued their recruiting roll today by adding three-star Naples (FL) defensive back Sammy Faustin, the fourth BBQ at the Big House visitor to commit since Saturday.

Faustin is a Don Brown target who went from no offers at the end of 2016 to 20+ in the spring. Michigan joined the fray in February and immediately jumped out to a lead; they see Faustin as a safety:

“When they called me, it was like, yeah, doesn't matter to me, it's cool," he said. "They also asked if I'd like to come play at Michigan, like if I'd come play safety, because they're recruiting me as a safety. I was like, yeah, I'll play wherever you need me to play. It doesn't matter to me.”

Faustin is the 13th commit in the 2018 class and the fourth in the defensive backfield, joining fellow lanky CB/S prospects Myles Sims, Gemon Green, and German Green. Brown definitely has a type.


Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, #75 CB,
#876 Ovr
3* CB NR CB 3*, 86, #74 CB,
#730 Ovr
3*, #78 CB,
#870 Ovr

So, yeah, prepare for some comments. Faustin is well off the four-star pace at this point at every site save Rivals, which gives him a 5.7 rating, their highest for three-star prospects. (Somehow this doesn't merit giving him a position ranking.) Scout and 247 have given him cursory three-star ratings, while ESPN—the only site that has an evaluation on him—hasn't bothered to rank him yet.

Every site save ESPN (6'1", 177) lists Faustin at 6'2", 170 pounds. He's built, well, like all of Michigan's other defensive back commits, and like the others should have the versatility to play cornerback or safety.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]


There's surprisingly little out there on Faustin given he's from Florida, so let's start with his junior highlights:

The main attribute that jumps out to me is Faustin's football IQ. He has a great sense of where the ball is going and reacts with remarkable quickness. The play at 1:55 is something I'm not sure I've seen from a high school corner: Faustin plays press man, runs his man's route for him, somehow realizes the quarterback is throwing to the next receiver over, and breaks on the ball in time to make a play on it.

He also looks equally comfortable in press man, off man, and zone coverage, which is rare for a high school prospect. Again, his recognition and ability to break on the ball stand out, whether it's a pass, screen, or run—a great trait for a safety. While he's not a forceful hitter, he takes good angles to the ball in the open field and looks like a sure tackler. He looks quite underrated to me as a safety prospect, and he also displays the potential to be a significant contributor on special teams—in addition to solid open-field tackles, he tears off the edge for a couple blocked kicks in that reel.

ESPN has the only full-blown scouting report from any of the four recruiting services:

Strengths: Versatile defender who can play outside and projects as a FS. Shows ball skills and ability to stick his foot to drive on the ball. ... Areas of Improvement: Strength in his tackling, consistency of footwork and leverage in his pedal. Development of more size will benefit the position. ... Bottom Line: FS prospect with ball skills and versatility. Leverages routes effectively and is consistent to make plays. Will need to develop short area burst, balance and base in his pedal and his strength to realize his upside.

Adding strength and refining technique are the main areas of improvement; these are coachable areas. Meanwhile, his coverage skills will translate well to playing safety in Brown's defense, which often requires safeties to play man-to-man in the slot.

Faustin's high school coach, who's admittedly not the most unbiased source, believes he has a future in the NFL:

Naples High School's Hall of Fame head coach has seen dozens of Division I prospects come through his program over the years. He knows rising senior defensive back Sammy Faustin has a chance to be special.

"I don't say this, you've never heard me say this, but he's the guy that can play on Sundays," Kramer said. ...

"When you see the length and the ability to run, we knew there was something special, plus his attitude. He's the sweetest guy.  He's a true competitor, but he is a gentleman off the field. God gave him a whole bunch of tools in his tool kit, and I'm proud of him for maximizing it."

SBNation's Bud Elliott was asked about Faustin on Twitter, and while Elliott didn't think he was Florida-FSU-Miami caliber, he made him sound like the ideal Don Brown safety:

It appears opponents largely avoided throwing at Faustin last year, as noted when he was named third-team all-state:

DB — Sammy Faustin, Sr., Naples
Teams stayed away from Faustin, creating opportunities for the rest of the team. Had 31 tackles.

Of Michigan's current defensive back haul, Faustin looks most likely to wind up at safety (it's either him or German Green) and I like his potential there quite a bit.


Faustin holds offers from Arizona, Iowa State, Kentucky, Maryland, NC State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Purdue, UCF, USF, Virginia, Appalachian State, ECU, FIU, Georgia Southern, and Western Kentucky. Florida has shown interest but has yet to offer.


Naples competes in Florida's 6A classification, the third-largest in the state. They've produced three four-star signees since 2002, most notably former OSU and current San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde, according to the Rivals database.


According to MaxPreps, Faustin recorded 39 tackles (30 solo) with an interception, four passes defensed, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries as a junior.


Faustin has an unverified 4.63 40 time on his Hudl page, which gets three FAKEs out of five.


Single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.


Faustin looks like a safety to me, which means he'll likely have the luxury of developing for a couple years behind Josh Metellus, J'Marick Woods, Jaylen Kelly-Powell, and Brad Hawkins before working his way into the rotation. While he could potentially line up at corner, the path the field is tougher at that spot, and Faustin's skill set seems best-suited for safety regardless.


Faustin is the 13th commit in a class that should eventually end up at 20-24 prospects, depending on attrition. Michigan took five defensive backs in the 2017 class, so they can stay put with this group of four unless they can land a top-tier prospect like Josh Jobe or Isaac Taylor-Stuart. They'll continue to recruit targets at RB, WR, TE, OT, DT, and DE.

Here's the class as it currently stands:



August 2nd, 2017 at 4:20 PM ^

Why are we taking a composite 2 star?  With our projected class size we should only be taking high level 3 star guys and above at this point.  I mean can every major program in Florida be wrong about this kid, the offer sheet doesn't look good.


August 2nd, 2017 at 4:26 PM ^

We'll, he's a composite 3*, so already higher than your assumption. He's also got a lot of physical tools that Brown likes, and I wouldn't be surprised if he bumped up a little in rankings with a solid senior year.

As for "the Florida teams missed him" argument, Florida has been a mess recruiting recently and Miami already has a pretty full class (19 kids), and I don't know enough about recruiting down there to know if that means they took a long look at him or not, since they took other guys in his same general recruiting range.


August 2nd, 2017 at 5:59 PM ^

Florida has been a mess recruiting recently

What did you mean by this?  Florida has had top 15 classes (247) in 5 of the last 6 classes, with 3 in the top 10 and is currently ahead of UM for 2018. 



UM - #4

UF - #3



UM - #20

UF - #9



UM - #37

UF - #21



UM - #8

UF - #12



UM - #4

UF - #10



UM - #15

UF - #13


August 3rd, 2017 at 9:13 AM ^

So, really what you're saying is he's not as good of a recruiter as Urban Meyer?  Under Meyer, they typically had top 5 classes and now Muschamp and Mclwain have been more like top 10-15 classes.


I think that's an accurate judgement.  But, that's a far cry from being "a mess".  Beyond Nick Saban and maybe Pete Carroll in the 2000s Urban is one of the best recruiters we've ever seen in the modern college football era.


August 2nd, 2017 at 4:38 PM ^

I mean stars do matter. The reason why fans say that they don't is becuase they like the underdog story. Numerous guys like Kingston Davis, Dytarious Johnson, Rueben Jones, Shelton Johnson etc. haven't panned out. Alabama and Ohio State usually fill up on top 100/top 50 guys. I'm not saying you should only offer a guy who has great offers or 4/5 stars but it's going to be hard to beat OSU consistently when you have so many flyers.


August 2nd, 2017 at 4:53 PM ^

Stars matter in a statistical sense, e.g. if you continually sign top classes you are more likely to have a good football team.  That doesn't mean it's not silly when people start wringing their hands about accepting a commitment from a 3 star in August.  Based on the last couple years of Harbaugh, it seems pretty likely that the lower rated players will either see their rankings improve during their senior season, or else end up processed.


August 2nd, 2017 at 6:28 PM ^

Try to keep in mind Harbaugh has been hiring NFL personnel guys, guys who know how to make talent evaluations.  I suspect we'll see more lower-star recruits in future classes based on their own evals, not the recruiting site evals.

If a recruiting site misses on a rating, too low or too high, what difference is it to them?  They move on to the next class.  For guys actually in the business it can mean their jobs so they have to get it right often.  We might see some very interesting classes in the next few years and guys coming out of nowhere to be stars. 

P5 schools aren't the only schools sending players to the NFL.  If we can scoop up some of the guys with that kind of potential that get passed over by P5 schools, that's a big bonus.  They're a lot easier to recruit, too.


August 3rd, 2017 at 1:09 PM ^

Star rankings do not matter. Quality players do.

Oftentimes the two are correlated - the better players end up with more stars. But the recruiting sites frequently miss on players in either direction. Less than half of the "can't miss, sure thing" 5* players end up being drafted to the NFL. And those are guys who are evaluated extremely closely and after the benefit of their senior season. When you start talking about players who have yet to finish their senior season, their accuracy gets even worse.

Moral of the story is that recruiting ranking are useful, but they are hardly infallible.

At this point Faustin's rankings most likely represents the opinion of one intern at rivals who spent approximately five minutes evaluating his junior film. So people should just calm fhe fuck down.


August 2nd, 2017 at 4:42 PM ^

I bet if we had the "Michigan Coaching Staff Recruiting Rankings," and if they contributed to the overall 247 Composite score, we would be happy with this pick. Unfortunately the Michigan Staff rankings don't get thrown into the Composite ratings, so we don't care about those as much. Right?

I will say this. THE ONLY reason why I would like the news of getting an "elite" kid with "elite" rankings that the staff was pursuing over an under-the-radar kid the staff was pursuing is because of the public perception. The media hypes up the class more, the more it's talked about, and the better the "class" is perceived by other top recruits. Kids pay attention to recruiting rankings, and that's the only real benefit. 

OTHER THAN THAT, you can take a hike with this crap. If the kid is a take right now, and from my understanding he had a commitable offer a ways back, then that means the staff really wants him. Which means he's mostly likely one of the top guys on their board for the position. Which means we all should be happy to get him. The staff has proven that they won't accept commitments from kids that are on another tier compared to their top targets this early in the process, so this pretty much proves that Sammy Faustin is highly coveted by the staff. And with Josh Metellus and others, I think this current staff has pretty much proven that they know what they're doing when it comes to finding good under-the-radar kids. 


August 2nd, 2017 at 6:42 PM ^

I was as willing to bitch about this kid and his ranking until I saw his tape. That is reality right in front of everyone bitching about a kid who is way off were he should be ranked. I had a feeling there must be something special the staff likes about this kid, and blame there it is. This kid is a fearless tackling machine who can run and cover. He also seems like a quiet nice kid off the field and his hall of fame coach raves aboout how he will be playing on sunday and is one of the best he has ever seen. Faustin is a total steal, much like schoonmaker so yes our proven nfl staff does know what it is looking at. This kid is way underrated and should be at least a mid four star if he was ranked properly. J. woods was three star last year and I was like no way. This kid is even more of a hitter that just does not have the offer list j. woods had, and they still missed on him. Once again this staff can spot talent from a mile away and there it is on tape like usual. We will also get some higher ranked kids and like the guy wrote and I always felt this class will be above twenty as Harbaugh continues to clean house. I may be wrong and I am going to look it up but I believe Mo Hurst was a three star.


August 2nd, 2017 at 5:13 PM ^

You would think idiots would stop questioning the coaching staff by now, or at least realize that they come off as a dick when UM doesn't get the unreasonably high recruits that their superior scouting thinks that we should get


August 2nd, 2017 at 4:23 PM ^

Looks solid. High IQ guys with decent enough athleticism are always intriguing, and if Brown likes him that's enough for me.

Also, I forgot how myopic and provincial Bud Elliott is since my last interactions were his FSU rants during and after the bowl game. You'd think at this point saying stuff like "he isn't good enough for Florida or Miami" would have been retired from the lexicon.


August 2nd, 2017 at 4:23 PM ^

I think it's interesting that Hoke LOVED the star system and seemed to base his recruiting almost exclusively off their reports.  I sometimes even wonder if playing time wasnt distrtibuted somewhat based on a player's ranking, not their actual performance (Rawls is only a 3 star RB - no PT for you son).

Harbaugh doesnt give two shits what the services say.  If he likes a player, he offers a player, and trusts his and his staff's eyes much more than those sage talent evaluators at Scout, ESPN or Rivals.


August 3rd, 2017 at 7:04 AM ^

Frank Clark was good - but I'd rather have had the higher ranked JaDaveon Clowney from the same class.


Desmond Morgan was good - but I'd rather have had the higher ranked Ryan Shazier from the same class.


Willie Henry was good - but I'd rather have had the higher ranked Mario Edwards from the same class.


Channing Stribling was good - but I'd rather have had the higher ranked Tre'davious White from the same class.


Jehu Chesson as good - but I'd rather have had the higher ranked Amari Cooper from the same class.


August 3rd, 2017 at 8:25 AM ^

You people are fucking hilarious. Guy accuses Hoke of chasing stars, I post a few 3 stars that he found that turned into multi year starters and/or NFL players and you guys are all "but why didn't he recruit higher rated players?"


August 2nd, 2017 at 7:55 PM ^

At any point (except against Purdue) did Rawls look like a good college RB, let alone a good pro one? And didn't Drake Johnson get starting snaps in some pretty big games even when other, higher-rated guys were around?

Again, Brady Hoke didn't pan out, but not everything he did was wrong. Hell, that record setting draft class was his work.

I trust Harbaugh to recruit and develop players properly. My issues with Hoke were on the development side; as a recruiter, he got good players regardless of rankings.

Ali G Bomaye

August 3rd, 2017 at 10:58 AM ^

I think that might have been true to some extent, but not as much as you're saying. Hoke unearthed plenty of defenders who weren't highly rated by the recruiting services but ended up being studs - for instance, Willie Henry, Mo Hurst, Jeremy Clark, Channing Stribling. But I think in the areas outside of Hoke's expertise, he either leaned heavily on recruiting rankings (RB, OL) or just didn't bother to recruit a significant number of guys who projected as contributors (QB, WR).

Mr Miggle

August 3rd, 2017 at 11:07 AM ^

How soon we forget 2* Stribling, 2* J. Clark, nearly all of his WRs, etc. I'm leaving out all of the late adds.

Your opinion on who got playing time under him is just as easily refuted. 

Hoke went for his type of players just like Harbaugh does. In my opinion, the main differences were that Hoke had some poor assistants for evaluating talent and he was a step down as a recruiter.


August 2nd, 2017 at 4:26 PM ^

I have to confess, I'm not really all that geeked about U of M's secondary recuiting for this class. All of them except Spider seem to be very raw, but tall and lanky seems to be their desired DB trait. I have to keep telling myself: "Trust the coaches". I was holding out hope for Taylor-Stuart, Jobe or Addison. Not that stars matter, but I don't see Michigan finishing in the top ten of recruiting given the smaller class size.


August 2nd, 2017 at 4:54 PM ^

The staff can afford to take high upside project DBs after the last two classes. Between Long, Hill, Washington, Thomas, Metellus, Kinnel, JKP, Woods, and Hawkins, it'll be at least two years before the DBs from this year's class have a chance to play meaningful minutes. Now's the perfect time to grab underrecuited guys that don't mind waiting awhile to play that have the potential to be big time talents once they get the coaching and strength gains to catch up to their 5 and 4 star peers.


August 2nd, 2017 at 6:53 PM ^

Like I just wrote, everyone please watch this kid's tape. If you know what you are looking for you will be Quite happy with this kid's play. There is a reason the staff likes him and you can see it on the field and off. This kid is really good playing CB and they want to move him to safety because he is flat out physical. I saw it right off why they offered him. If people are still bitching after seeing his tape, well guess what they really should not scout for anyone because this kid is a stud period.


August 2nd, 2017 at 8:52 PM ^

I saw this kid's tape about four months ago after reading one of Ace's posts, and my immediate takeaway was that he'd be a perfect FS. He has that wonderfully peculiar way of knowing the play the offense is running before they can fully run it. Imo, the staff has once again found a perfect developmental player, with a combination of frame and intangibles with room to develop his agility and tackling. Just remember, Braylon was a 3 star, Hart was a 3 star, Chris Evans was a 2/3 star, Khaleke was a 3 star, and there were 9 players drafted in the 1st round just this past year that were below 4 stars. Along with Milton, I think the staff dug deep to discover unique skill and struck gold.


August 2nd, 2017 at 5:18 PM ^

I am glad that our coaches are Jim Harbaugh and Don Brown, rather than anonymous message board posters who would take Derrick Green over Chris Evans 100% of the time.